Integrative drug efficacy assessment of Danggui and European Danggui using NMR-based metabolomics

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Danggui (DG) is a commonly used herbal drug in traditional Chinese medicine, and usually adulterated with European Danggui (EDG) due to the increasing demand. In present study, global metabolic profiling with NMR coupled with integrative drug efficacy evaluation methods was performed to compare and discover underlying blood-enriching regulation mechanisms of DG and EDG on blood deficiency rats induced by acetyl phenylhydrazine (APH). Totally, the contents of 12 key metabolites in serum and 4 in urine of DG group, 7 in serum and 4 in urine of EDG group were significantly reversed in comparison with model group. DG was more effective than EDG as revealed by the relative distance, efficacy index and similarity analysis. The metabolism pathways analysis showed that the better effect of DG maybe related with the regulatory effect on valine, leucine and isoleucine biosynthesis, synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, glycine, serine and threonine metabolism, as well as nicotinate and nicotinamide metabolism. The results presented here showed that metabolomic coupled with efficacy index and similarity analysis made it possible to disclose the subtle biological difference between DG and EDG, which highlight the potential of metabolomic approach to quantitatively compare the pharmacological effect of the herbal drugs.

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